Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hanging Around

Retirement brings to mind thoughts of rocking chairs, doctor visits, boredom, health issues, gray hair and grandchildren just to name a few things.  But since we chose to retire to latin america we ditched the rockers for hammocks.  Hammocks can be seen swaying in the breeze in front of many homes here. Even apartments have them on the balconies and there are hammock hotels here too.  In a hammock hotel one gets a hammock to sleep in and use of a bathroom for about $10 a night.  I saw them advertised for the famous "Carnival" celebration which happens every year here.  As a side note Panama has the largest Carnival celebration second only to Brazil. 

Last year while here on vacation we splurged one night and stayed at the very Americanized Gamboa Rainforest Resort.  There our room had a pretty white croched hammock hanging on the balcony of the room.  The balcony overlooked the Gamboa Rainforest full of creature sounds such as monkeys, geikos, birds and more.  While Clyde was still dealing with the luggage I had already plopped by butt down in the hammock and was swinging in the breeze.  I knew at that momemt that if and when we ever moved to Panama, we would most certainly have to have hammocks.

This is the Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Yesterday Clyde said "retirement and hammocks go hand and hand, so let's go look for some."  So off we went and we quickly found a shop that sold hammocks along with a variety of other goodies.  The hammock prices ranged from $30 to over $200.  We picked out 2 croched white ones, asked the man for a "discuento" or discount and walked off with our new mode of relaxation.  We just knew that these hammocks would bring us hours of laying around with a drink nearby, swaying gently to the balmy breeze.  But first Clyde needed to figure out HOW to hang these things.

First stop was a local ferreteria (hardware store) where Clyde attempted to ask in Spanish for the thingies to hang the hammocks.  The hammock salesmen said they were called "ganchos de hamacas." 
The young man at the ferreteria quickly took care of him and got him the supplies.  Then Clyde thought he should also get some rope since the area in between the posts where the hammocks would go on the house was longer than the hammocks.  Here's where things got tricky when Clyde asked how much a foot for the rope?  The young man looked confused and said "litre."  Rope is Panama is sold by weight......it was $5.00 for one litre of rope. The man pulled out a large scale and weighed out a liter of rope to show Clyde. 

Off we went back to the house to hang the hammocks.  Clyde immediately went to work on it. The ganchos went into the posts, the rope tied onto that to extend the distance and then he carefully knotted the rope and told me to try it out.  I asked "is that knot strong enough to hold me?"  "Sure, he exclaimed."  So in I went and down I went to the ground hammock and all!  The hammock and my butt fell to the ground and I landed in the flower bed which cushioned my fall.  At that moment he realized that he did NOT have the right type of knot and proceeded to tie it again.  It took us a while to get the height of the hammocks just right but on any further attempts it was Clyde that sat in it first and not me. 

Another lesson learned, a few more Spanish words added to our vocabulary as every experience is a new one living abroad here in beautiful Panama!

1 comment:

  1. now you'll have to post a photo of you in the hammock with a yummy drink in your hand . . .


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